Monk Found Embracing Teen Girl Is Arrested

A 19-year-old monk in Kom­pong Cham province was defrocked and arrested Saturday after he was found sleeping with two teenage girls at his parents’ house in Krala commune’s Phuom Thmei village, police said.

According to Chak Sok Kao, deputy police chief of Kompong Siem district, the monk was caught embracing a 16-year-old girl in his bed, while an 18-year-old girl slept nearby. The monk was wearing his robes at the time, Chak Sok Kao said.

“The offender confessed that he kissed, embraced and other activities, but said he did not rape,” he added.

The 16-year-old, Chak Sok Kao said, ran away from home and went to sleep at the monk’s house Friday night because, she said, her parents had beaten her to discourage her from seeing the monk.

The next morning, he said, the girl’s parents asked police for help finding her. Police and the girl’s parents found the girl in bed with the monk and he was defrocked at his pagoda at about 9 am Saturday.

San Sophea, serious crimes bureau police chief in Kampong Cham, said the monk was charged with sexual harassment and appeared in court Tuesday.

“I think that the man is not guilty in accordance with Cambodian criminal law, because the girl consented to be with him,” San Sophea said. “The man is guilty within his religious discipline.”

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